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Photo by Julie Ostler

As all of Utah Valley University sports approach the heart of conference play, this weekend proves to be a crucial juncture for all teams. Will the men’s soccer and volleyball teams continue their hot streaks through the end of the season and into conference tournaments? Can the women’s soccer team get back on track in time for the season to end? We have reached the part of the schedule where these teams will form their identity for the postseason.

The volleyball team returns home this week to begin the second half of their conference schedule. The Wolverines will host New Mexico State Thursday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m. The Aggies topped UVU in a five-set nail-biter in the first meeting between the teams. NMSU has played well on the road this season and has not lost a single set in conference games played away from the Pan American Center.

UVU will take on UT Rio Grande Valley Saturday, Oct. 22, at 1 p.m. The Vaqueros won five straight contests earlier this season and have been close on the heels of NMSU for the top spot in the conference. UTGRV will be led at the net by freshman Barbara Silva, who is among conference leaders in total blocks. The Wolverines fell to the Vaqueros in four sets the first time these two faced off this season.

For UVU, the UTRGV game will mark its final outing of the season in the UCCU Center as its final three games are scheduled to be played in the PE Building.

The women’s soccer team will face off against Chicago State at Clyde Field Thursday with kickoff set for 7 p.m. The last time these two teams met, UVU came away with a big win against CSU with a final score of 7-1. CSU will have their work cut out for them, as UVU is averaging 1.38 goals per game to the Cougars’ 0.75

In the 2015 season, UVU faced the University of Missouri-Kansas City twice. UVU walked away with a 1-0 win during their regular season meeting. The second match came during the WAC Tournament, where UVU came away with a 2-0 win. This rematch is set for Saturday with kickoff set for 7 p.m. at Clyde Field.

Men’s soccer will split the week between Clyde Field and San Jose, California. The Wolverines start the weekend Friday night at 7 p.m. against Houston Baptist. The reeling Huskies have been outscored by opponents by more than double their own offensive output by a margin of 2.09 to 0.91 goals per game. In their last meeting, HBU bested UVU 2-1 in Houston, Texas.

The Wolverines then travel to face San Jose State Sunday at 3:30 p.m. MT. The Spartans enter the weekend winless since a 3-2 win over Pacific in the second match of the season. Despite an anemic offense that averages just 0.92 goals per match, SJSU is a physical team that leads the conference in yellow cards.

Reporting by: Devin Olsen, David Roura, Brad Curnow

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